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Product Development Teams Up with Finance

Originally Published June 2000Keith Schleiffer and Julie Devore

0006x70a.jpgA revolution is sweeping through medical device product development departments nationwide. The uneasy truce that previously existed between the financial and the creative components of the medical device design effort is fading in favor of a new partnership that has sprung up between the chief financial officer's office and R&D leaders in their quest to produce profitable products as quickly as possible.

In the past, the appearance of a financial representative (FR) at a product development meeting signaled the need for a major course correction—perhaps the project was over budget or the projected product cost was too high. Product developers tended to get defensive, and everyone was glad when the meeting ended. But everyone also knew that whenever the FR was brought in, something had been missed in the project management process, and key decisions made by the developers—months, maybe years ago—might now be changed.

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